Established in 1987, the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) is the leading Maltese education institution providing further and higher education programmes in tourism and hospitality.
With a contribution of 27.1% (2018) of Malta’s gross domestic product (GDP), tourism is a major contributor to the Maltese economy, representing a contribution much higher than that in Europe and the rest of the world, where tourism contributed 10.3% and 10.4% to the GDP, respectively. This positive performance is expected to continue, with the sector’s value added expected to grow by 4.2% per year to reach 32.9% of the GDP by 2028 due to the island’s attractiveness as a tourist destination. In spite of the prevailing uncertainty in the sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is believed that now is the time to think strategically in shaping the future of the ITS. This calls for a different way of planning ahead and involves the development of a flexible approach that can adapt to changing scenarios as they play out.
Accordingly, the focus of the ITS new strategic plan 2021-25 is less on content and more on a process aimed at developing entrepreneurship and innovation across its operations.
The new strategy vision envisages the transformation of tomorrow’s international tourism industry by directing its resources to:
- create comprehensive and systematic knowledge through high-quality research;
- develop innovative and relevant higher education and training programmes combining technical, generic and behavioural skills;
- deliver such programmes through a student-centred and inclusive learning environment, integrating theory and practice while promoting modern leadership approaches;
- provide expert advice to established stakeholders;
- mentor entrepreneurs to commercialise successfully innovative business concepts in the tourism industry.
The new mission and vision will be achieved through the development of the following core competences:
- leading change and best practice in the tourism industry;
- blending theory and practice for quality education;
- ensuring student-centric personalised learning;
- creating Internationalisation at home and abroad;
- instigating entrepreneurship in tourism;
- continuous monitoring for flexibility and adapting to change;
- leveraging people and technology as key assets;
The underlying core principles underpinning the ITS corporate strategy development are:
- development and implementation of a group marketing and business development strategy;
- governance systems;
- consolidated financing strategy;
- implementation of a digital roadmap;
- investment in people as a core strategic asset.
Through its new strategy, the ITS opens up to new academic partners and stakeholders in the industry. The strategic plan is reflected in their new mission statement: ‘Shaping excellence and innovation in tourism through teaching and learning, quality research, advice and realisation of innovative business concepts’.